Tag Archives: 1800’s

Book Review – Everyday Life in the 1800’s

28 Jan

It had become a bit of an obsession, and one that I readily admitted.

Going to Powell’s Bookstore? It was typically my first stop in the store, the ‘writing’ section to see if they had this book:


After only, well, too many times to count, they FINALLY had it. And I couldn’t quite believe it. I made my mom tell me if it was too expensive, because I just couldn’t bear to look. But, lo and behold, it was well within my price range – especially for a book that I’ve been wanting almost two years.

I first found it in the library in my hometown, and kept it checked out as long as absolutely possible. And about cried when I had to return it. I consoled myself with the fact that I could just check it out again in a few weeks. Well, it was constantly ‘out’ and then we moved.

Now I can tell you more about WHY I love this book, now that you know how stinking excited I am to own my own copy.

Put out by Writer’s Digest, this is the only book I’ve found that covers life in the 1800’s :

  • Everday Speech (slang too!!!)
  • Jobs
  • Transportation
  • On the Range
  • the Civil War
  • Fashion
  • Money
  • Health and Medicine

etc etc – seriously, the only thing I wish it had was a detail of tea etiquette and service. Because that would be brilliant. Now, while I’m not writing a novel that is going to be exactly time-proper on things, I do want to have enough so that the reader gets an actual sense of being in the late 1800’s. Have you ever read a story that was set in another era but was written so that you actually forgot that fact? I have. A bit disconcerting and, to the past-era lover that I am, disappointing. I am intending to use this book for this novel (and a few others that are percolating) to help push aside the realities of modern life (goodbye laptop and smart phones) and make the world of my novel(s) more realistic.

So, I’m going to crank up Piano Guys (if you haven’t checked them out, do it, you’ll be sooo glad you did) and get to writing and poring over this new treasure of mine.

Happy Writing,




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